A bicycle ride across Canada to raise money for cancer research begins Sunday morning at 8am, a small Catholic school in East Vancouver.
It’s called Charlie’s Ride, named after Charlie MacDougall of Halifax, who died in 2004 from the same bone cancer that killed Terry Fox.
“Charlie was the life of the party. One of his classmates wrote us afterwards and said that you could always tell when Charlie was in the room because the room was full of laughter.”
Chris is Charlie’s dad, and he’ll be doing the pedalling.
Why start the ride at St. Joseph’s School, 3261 Fleming Street in Vancouver?
“My brother Donald taught at St. Joseph’s”.
Don MacDougall was a much-loved teacher at St. Joe’s for many years, but he also died from cancer nearly four years ago.
His memory continues at be celebrated at the school each year with “Mr. MacDougall Cardigan Day”, when staff and students wear the buttoned sweater for which he was so well-known.
So Chris has lost his son and his brother to cancer.
Chris says Charlie’s Ride is all about continuing the advances already made in cancer treatment.
“When Terry Fox had the same cancer as Charlie, the survival rate was 30%. Charlie contracted it 20 years later and it was just flipped on its edge, Charlie’s chances of survival went from 30% with Terry Fox to 70%. And that same cancer now, the survival rate, is 80%”.
You can follow Charlie’s Ride and donate at charliesride.net